| Family Living |

Keep It Simple

If you’re anything like us, you’re bound to get overwhelmed by all the stuff your kids deem as “important”

Hey, mommylifesquad fam!

School is almost out! Yay! Or nay?

What’s for sure is that the kids will be coming home with just about everything in their lives plus some extra. If you’re anything like us, you’re bound to get overwhelmed by all the stuff your kids deem as “important.”

Don’t stress; we’ve got you covered with this mommy hack.

Step 1: Assess and Sort:

When your kids walk through the door on their last day, gather everything and embark on a sorting odyssey. As you sift through textbooks, notebooks, folders, and supplies, you’re going to assign each category a different bin.

Step 2: Donate, Reuse, or Toss:

Encourage your kids to participate in the decision-making process as you determine what can be passed on to others, what you would like to reuse, and what you want to say goodbye to. It may take time; take a deep breath, grab a coffee, and try to make this a fun bonding experience with your child.

Step 3: Create an Archive:

Reserve a special place in your home where you can store all your kids’ treasures. Label a bin with the word “keepsake” so your kids can always refer back to it for personal memories. You can choose to have one bin per child or you can store all of their goodies in one bin.

Organizing and storing these mementos will not only help keep things clutter-free, it’ll also create a tangible reminder of your child’s growth and accomplishments. (Until you toss it all out for good, but don’t tell your kids about that!)

Step 4: Digitalize and Back Up:

It might sound intimidating, but it’s worth using technology to capture standout projects, remarkable artwork, and valued assignments by photographing or scanning them. Safeguard these treasures digitally so you can enjoy them for years to come.

If you’re feeling ambitious, try scanning or photographing your kids’ projects, uploading them onto Snapfish, and creating a photobook. This saves a lot of space and preserves your children’s work at the same time.

Step 5: Prepare for Next Year:

Label another bin as “leftover school supplies.” Put all the working markers, glue sticks, pencils, etc., into this bin; it will save you time and money when it’s time to order new school supplies.

Implementing these tips can not only save you time and reduce stress, but will hopefully also instill lifelong habits of tidiness and reflection in our children.

Remember, as one academic year comes to a close, another chapter of your child’s extraordinary story begins. Embrace the journey, celebrate their milestones, and look forward to a summer filled with joy, growth, and shared memories.

—Tikva Braum and Rena Kohengadol


Sneak Peek

It’s nice to encourage kids to reflect on and share their experiences, and the end of the school year is a great opportunity. This short list of thought-provoking questions can give you a peek into their world.

  • One word to describe the school year
  • Best thing you did for someone else this year
  • The time you laughed hardest this year
  • Most memorable day of this year
  • Best advice you received this year
  • An achievement you’re proud of from this year
Laundry List

Question: I have a white children’s dress with red trim and the red bled into the dress. How can I get it out?

A: Try a Q-tip with some dish washing detergent (liquid Cascade Complete) on the spots. Work your way from the edge of the stain to the middle. Once you’ve gotten the stain out, repeat with water to wash the chemicals out.

—Balabusta boss

Exercise Skincare

Every part of you benefits when you exercise, including your skin. But there are still dos and don’ts for before and after.

Before: It’s a good idea to clean off makeup before exercising. If you want to use moisturizer, use a light formulation; thick creams prevent sweat from evaporating and cooling you down.

And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a bazillion times: Use SUNSCREEN! (Even if you don’t plan to step foot outdoors, windows don’t filter out the sun.) Want to argue that you’re inside and it’s cloudy? UVA rays can still reach you. Not to mention computer and phone screens emit blue light, which can also damage skin.

Bottom line: There’s no way out of it; use SPF!

During: If you’re working out in a gym or other communal space, try not to touch your face. These environments are filled with bacteria.

After: First, wash your hands, and then wash your face. Immediately. All that sweat and oil has got to go. Don’t use harsh cleansers, as post-workout skin is delicate. Cleansers with either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help prevent breakouts. If face washing isn’t an option, a makeup wipe or micellar water with a cotton round will do until a proper facial cleansing is possible.

Sweating and facial washing dehydrates skin, so moisturize.

If the workout was in the morning, follow with your regular morning skin routine. Meaning, SPF again. Whatever was applied before is gone.

—Lea Pavel

Coming Clean

Lestoil is one of my favorite cleansers. Forget scented candles and diffusers; I love the clean smell of Lestoil. Originally developed in 1933 for use in commercial laundries, it’s strong enough to remove all sorts of difficult laundry stains, including paint, grease, blood, ink, and lipstick.

And it’s not only for laundry. This multipurpose cleanser can be used to clean floors, toys, outdoor furniture, and sneaker soles. It’s especially good at removing that grimy stickiness that sometimes adheres to plastic.

Just be careful, because it’s really strong. Test fabric before treating, and don’t use at full strength for painted, wood, and laminate surfaces.

—Esther Shaindy Leshkowitz

Travel Rush

Are you going to be traveling through an airport this summer? And renting a car? That last stretch in the airport when you need to get from the car rental to the terminal while you’re running late can set anyone’s nerves on edge.

Take an Uber! It can save a ton of time and will usually only cost a few dollars.

Getting Ahead?

Q: If I’m not home and I don’t have a sheitel head handy, what should I do? Why is it so important that I use a head? Can I just put my wig down on any flat surface?

A: Full disclosure: I leave my wig on my dresser all the time! But do as I say and not as I do, because it does make a difference. If you want your sheitel perfectly set a certain way, you do need to use a sheitel head, because the roundness of the head is similar to the shape of a person’s head.

That being said, you can still travel light. Random items you can find in any hotel room or home can easily replace sheitel heads.

If you have a wig with lace, be careful not to use a head that is too wide or too large, because you don’t want to stretch the lace.

—Tzipora Ehrman, Wigs by Tzipora


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 848)

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